Every year it amazes me. How quickly everything you're so locked into can come to a close in the blink of an eye.
I heard another NBA coach this off-season simply say "you wake up, and it's over." That's simply put, but is pretty darn accurate. I know that as fans you go through the same stuff. When you live and breathe something, and then the switched is flipped off, it's a tough adjustment.
It also amazes me, in couple of weeks following the end of a season, how long ago it all seems that it actually came to a conclusion. I'm always reminded how the NBA postseason is truly the "second season." Everything that happened in the regular season seems so very long ago, and relatively insignificant compared to the playoffs.
In other words, the playoffs act as a huge magnifying glass. Where you're good, where you're not so good, and where you have to search for improvement, is played out right in front of you- sometimes in a hurry. When you're bounced out of the postseason, you truly start trying to pick up the pieces, and try to figure things out. We've all done that, right?
It always seems to take a few weeks, at least, to accurately assess things. The emotion has to fade a little bit for any proper perspective to be applied. That's the way I am, at least. And, unfortunately, we could have a long time to figure all of this out.
Even though we're not calling games now, we are still working. For me it's attending pre-draft workouts, hosting Courtside, filling in on an occasional radio talk show, and hosting an occasional TV show on Comcast. And yes, it's a chance to see the family, attend to matters around the house (I'm getting to the garage tomorrow, I promise), and get some vacation time.
Nate McMillan is in somewhat the same situation now. His family (like all of our families) is very understanding during the season. And, like all of you, I know he's spent a ton of time lying awake at night reflecting on the season, and the playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks.
McMillan joined us on Courtside this week, and we got a chance to catch up on several things and find out what he's been up to- besides watching the playoffs continue, without his team.
To listen to the interview, click here
I asked him the question that we've all probably asked ourselves at times in the past few weeks- has watching Dallas have success since their series with the Blazers make you feel any better about what happened in the first round? I try not to spend much time on this because it almost sounds like you're searching for a moral victory. But, at the very least, it had to at the very least validate some things that happened in that series.
Mostly though, after watching Dallas steamroll the Lakers in the second round, it feels like an opportunity lost. There's no guarantee Portland would have had the same kind of success the Mavericks had, but it does feel a bit like the Lakers were ripe for plucking, and the Blazers certainly could have had a good chance to get to the conference finals. Who knows. It's probably a waste of time to overthink that.
During this time of reflection, what stands out to you as perhaps the best memory of the past season? What was a turning point? What was the biggest victory, and biggest loss? I expect a variety of answers here. I know that when I think of that stuff, I usually get stuck on a few different answers, and they vary by the day.
I'd love to get your thoughts on that, along with your opinions on what should be done to improve this roster. The popular format is to go player by player and grade each position. Do that if you want.
I look forward to reading your responses.
Late in the season, one of our media relations heros, Jim Taylor, brought a camera on a road trip and did a behind-the-scenes piece on what a road trip is like. Behind the Mikes is what he has called this, and it could turn out to be a four or five-part series. I've seen the first few, and they'll be released one by one on this website. So, watch them, give me your thoughts, and check back often as the "documentary" will keep getting longer and longer.
for Part One, and again, check back often as the saga unfolds. I get asked the question a lot, "what is Rice like off TV?" Well, you'll find out watching this series, that when I say "he's the exact same dude you thought he was," I mean it.
I'll be around, and will post again soon. For now, take care, and fire away with the comments.